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GLUE




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 1:40 am
Over the last few decades I have heard a lot of ideas on how to solve the tuition crises.
Some that sounded very "off the wall" others that sounded doable.

Any ideas on what a school or a parent can do to keep the cost of tuition down?

All ideas are welcome, if you think an idea suggested is unrealistic please explain why not just "would not work"
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 2:24 am
I have an ambitious plan.

Please read through the whole thing with an open mind before commenting!

Before beginning this project, an actuary (or several) would be hired to ensure that the expected inflow and outflow of money is realistic, and to ensure that the seed money is sufficient to cover until the long-term income begins coming.

Presumably it would begin in one geographic location as a trial, and only afterwards expand to the rest of the United States.

1) A central organization, not linked to any specific school, with a board consisting of principals from across the Jewish Orthodox spectrum (including Chassidish and Modern Orthodox), is formed.

2) This organization is funded with a large amount of seed money.

3) Schools who want to participate need to agree to certain policies:
- Tuition is not collected directly from parents.
- Fees, mandatory contributions, trip costs and other expenses cannot exceed a certain cap.
- An independent financial auditor goes through the school's expenses annually and suggests (not demands) ways to save money.
- Where possible and not too disruptive, schools will utilize shared resources and buying power as a group.
- Tuition will be set based on actual cost of basic instruction* divided by estimated optimal number of students.
- Any additional school costs, the ones that give the school its unique character (activities, extracurriculars, special learning programs, etc.) will be fundraised for by the school separately. This encourages schools to differentiate themselves, not be frivolous in their spending, and strive for excellence, as all of their uniquenesses must be paid for by them.
(*Principals and teachers will be involved in setting guidelines for what constitutes "basic instruction" costs. This would likely include a fair wage for teachers with raises based on performance - either immediately or over time as is possible.)

4) Parents register as members of this central organization.
They can choose to pay full tuition, or income-based. If they choose income-based, a financial planner meets with them and helps them come up with a reasonable amount of money that can be allocated for tuition. They are encouraged to try to stretch a little bit.
All parents are requested to dedicate 5% of their income (half of maaser) to the central organization on an ongoing basis. (This would obviously be tax-deductible.) This would not be enforced.

5) Families whose children are too young to send to school, or those with children who have already graduated, are also encouraged to dedicate half of their maaser so that they, their relatives and friends are all able to have affordable tuition ongoing.

Some of the things I thought about:

- Fixing a set cost per student across every school would be unfair.
- A policy would need to be set for building funds, whether this is part of tuition, a reasonable added fee, or should be entirely raised by the school. This may depend on individual circumstances.
- It is healthy for parents to have a financial investment specifically in their child's education, and having the fund pay the full tuition is likely to become impossible very quickly.
- Making the 5% contribution mandatory would affect tax-deductibility, and be impossible to enforce without a frightening amount of effort and intrusiveness.
- Cheaters will cheat. Most people won't.
- Many people will be disincentivized from cheating if they feel it is possible to pay what is being asked.
- If half of your maaser means your kids, grandchildren, nephews, nieces or neighbors won't struggle terribly with tuition, I think most would want to get on board.
- Half of your maaser leaves you with a nice amount to donate to other causes that are important to you.
- If parents are not so strapped because of tuition, other tzedakah organizations would likely see their caseloads lighten, so the reduced available maaser would be less of an issue. Many parents would also suddenly be able to afford to give maaser.
- Schools would not have to collect tuition from parents directly which would mean less animosity between schools and parents.
- The wealthy would not suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage because the schools would still need to fundraise from them.
- Nobody will be required to share their private financial details or fill out long intrusive forms.
- The organization will be held to strict privacy rules, and will only store necessary information.
- Obviously expenses would vastly outweigh income at the beginning, but the idea is that over time, the maaser contributions from far more than parents with kids in school would offset the deficit.
- New schools would have an easier time starting because tuition is far more guaranteed.
- The financial shift would not be too drastic, which could have a lot of unforeseen consequences. It's just that tuition suddenly becomes affordable for all parents at whatever income level they are at.

There are more details that I thought through, but this is a good summary.
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amother




Poppy
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:11 pm
amother [ Steel ] wrote:
I have an ambitious plan.

Please read through the whole thing with an open mind before commenting!

Before beginning this project, an actuary (or several) would be hired to ensure that the expected inflow and outflow of money is realistic, and to ensure that the seed money is sufficient to cover until the long-term income begins coming.

Presumably it would begin in one geographic location as a trial, and only afterwards expand to the rest of the United States.

1) A central organization, not linked to any specific school, with a board consisting of principals from across the Jewish Orthodox spectrum (including Chassidish and Modern Orthodox), is formed.

2) This organization is funded with a large amount of seed money.

3) Schools who want to participate need to agree to certain policies:
- Tuition is not collected directly from parents.
- Fees, mandatory contributions, trip costs and other expenses cannot exceed a certain cap.
- An independent financial auditor goes through the school's expenses annually and suggests (not demands) ways to save money.
- Where possible and not too disruptive, schools will utilize shared resources and buying power as a group.
- Tuition will be set based on actual cost of basic instruction* divided by estimated optimal number of students.
- Any additional school costs, the ones that give the school its unique character (activities, extracurriculars, special learning programs, etc.) will be fundraised for by the school separately. This encourages schools to differentiate themselves, not be frivolous in their spending, and strive for excellence, as all of their uniquenesses must be paid for by them.
(*Principals and teachers will be involved in setting guidelines for what constitutes "basic instruction" costs. This would likely include a fair wage for teachers with raises based on performance - either immediately or over time as is possible.)

4) Parents register as members of this central organization.
They can choose to pay full tuition, or income-based. If they choose income-based, a financial planner meets with them and helps them come up with a reasonable amount of money that can be allocated for tuition. They are encouraged to try to stretch a little bit.
All parents are requested to dedicate 5% of their income (half of maaser) to the central organization on an ongoing basis. (This would obviously be tax-deductible.) This would not be enforced.

5) Families whose children are too young to send to school, or those with children who have already graduated, are also encouraged to dedicate half of their maaser so that they, their relatives and friends are all able to have affordable tuition ongoing.

Some of the things I thought about:

- Fixing a set cost per student across every school would be unfair.
- A policy would need to be set for building funds, whether this is part of tuition, a reasonable added fee, or should be entirely raised by the school. This may depend on individual circumstances.
- It is healthy for parents to have a financial investment specifically in their child's education, and having the fund pay the full tuition is likely to become impossible very quickly.
- Making the 5% contribution mandatory would affect tax-deductibility, and be impossible to enforce without a frightening amount of effort and intrusiveness.
- Cheaters will cheat. Most people won't.
- Many people will be disincentivized from cheating if they feel it is possible to pay what is being asked.
- If half of your maaser means your kids, grandchildren, nephews, nieces or neighbors won't struggle terribly with tuition, I think most would want to get on board.
- Half of your maaser leaves you with a nice amount to donate to other causes that are important to you.
- If parents are not so strapped because of tuition, other tzedakah organizations would likely see their caseloads lighten, so the reduced available maaser would be less of an issue. Many parents would also suddenly be able to afford to give maaser.
- Schools would not have to collect tuition from parents directly which would mean less animosity between schools and parents.
- The wealthy would not suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage because the schools would still need to fundraise from them.
- Nobody will be required to share their private financial details or fill out long intrusive forms.
- The organization will be held to strict privacy rules, and will only store necessary information.
- Obviously expenses would vastly outweigh income at the beginning, but the idea is that over time, the maaser contributions from far more than parents with kids in school would offset the deficit.
- New schools would have an easier time starting because tuition is far more guaranteed.
- The financial shift would not be too drastic, which could have a lot of unforeseen consequences. It's just that tuition suddenly becomes affordable for all parents at whatever income level they are at.

There are more details that I thought through, but this is a good summary.


This is obviously a well thought out approach and sounds to me like it could work... in theory.
Do you have any experience in school industry? Any real numbers? I don't have any inside info, but just as a parent and seeing a few different communities. I don't think this approach would work in practice. Your approach seems too easy!
I can also not see how this could work in practice for a number of reasons.
Take any existing institution. One school could own their property another just starting off, or needs to expand their building. The overheads would vary vastly. The curriculum would never be agreed upon by schools across the board. Who decides how much each teacher/ administrator earns? The specific school or the central organization? Teaching in some school could be harder - no one would do it if the pay was the same. If everyone is now giving 5% of income to the central organization, it would be almost impossible to fundraise anything to any particular school for their own fundraising. The 5% for everyone is basically saying if you earn more, you need to pay more, Irrespective of the benefits.
Bottom line, most people can't pay for tuition. The schools can divide it up, call it capital fund, dinner, registration, central organization etc but at the end of the day, its a huge expense and people can't and don't pay up.

I can imagine that if you can get people to donate 5% of their income to a school / school organization when they don't have any children in school, you would be paid big bucks as a fund raiser for any institution!
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amother




DarkOrange
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:22 pm
Schools should have to hire an outside financial person who will review the books to make sure money is allotted properly.
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imorethanamother




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:27 pm
amother [ Steel ] wrote:

1) A central organization, not linked to any specific school, with a board consisting of principals from across the Jewish Orthodox spectrum (including Chassidish and Modern Orthodox), is formed.

2) This organization is funded with a large amount of seed money.


Congratulations, you just described public school.

Only problem is to get all these spectrum parents to agree to all send their kids to the same school.

If the chassidish outpace the modern by 6:1, then their schools need more buildings, get rid of secular studies, introduce more months of school. The modern won’t approve of their money being funneled to other schools while their own doesn’t get new buildings and upgrades.

The chassidish will be upset that their money also goes to a modern school’s Literature classes and science curriculum that includes the origin of the universe.

Everyone will attempt to modify their schools entrance policies to keep out everyone to the left of them.

Schools will now be rated and ranked, with people wanting some schools over others.

Eliminating school choice seems to be your only answer. Everyone in one melting pot, everyone pays one centralized fee, everyone has equal access to all types of classes and classrooms.
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amother




Forsythia
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:28 pm
amother [ Steel ] wrote:
I have an ambitious plan.

Please read through the whole thing with an open mind before commenting!

Before beginning this project, an actuary (or several) would be hired to ensure that the expected inflow and outflow of money is realistic, and to ensure that the seed money is sufficient to cover until the long-term income begins coming.

Presumably it would begin in one geographic location as a trial, and only afterwards expand to the rest of the United States.

1) A central organization, not linked to any specific school, with a board consisting of principals from across the Jewish Orthodox spectrum (including Chassidish and Modern Orthodox), is formed.

2) This organization is funded with a large amount of seed money.

3) Schools who want to participate need to agree to certain policies:
- Tuition is not collected directly from parents.
- Fees, mandatory contributions, trip costs and other expenses cannot exceed a certain cap.
- An independent financial auditor goes through the school's expenses annually and suggests (not demands) ways to save money.
- Where possible and not too disruptive, schools will utilize shared resources and buying power as a group.
- Tuition will be set based on actual cost of basic instruction* divided by estimated optimal number of students.
- Any additional school costs, the ones that give the school its unique character (activities, extracurriculars, special learning programs, etc.) will be fundraised for by the school separately. This encourages schools to differentiate themselves, not be frivolous in their spending, and strive for excellence, as all of their uniquenesses must be paid for by them.
(*Principals and teachers will be involved in setting guidelines for what constitutes "basic instruction" costs. This would likely include a fair wage for teachers with raises based on performance - either immediately or over time as is possible.)

4) Parents register as members of this central organization.
They can choose to pay full tuition, or income-based. If they choose income-based, a financial planner meets with them and helps them come up with a reasonable amount of money that can be allocated for tuition. They are encouraged to try to stretch a little bit.
All parents are requested to dedicate 5% of their income (half of maaser) to the central organization on an ongoing basis. (This would obviously be tax-deductible.) This would not be enforced.

5) Families whose children are too young to send to school, or those with children who have already graduated, are also encouraged to dedicate half of their maaser so that they, their relatives and friends are all able to have affordable tuition ongoing.

Some of the things I thought about:

- Fixing a set cost per student across every school would be unfair.
- A policy would need to be set for building funds, whether this is part of tuition, a reasonable added fee, or should be entirely raised by the school. This may depend on individual circumstances.
- It is healthy for parents to have a financial investment specifically in their child's education, and having the fund pay the full tuition is likely to become impossible very quickly.
- Making the 5% contribution mandatory would affect tax-deductibility, and be impossible to enforce without a frightening amount of effort and intrusiveness.
- Cheaters will cheat. Most people won't.
- Many people will be disincentivized from cheating if they feel it is possible to pay what is being asked.
- If half of your maaser means your kids, grandchildren, nephews, nieces or neighbors won't struggle terribly with tuition, I think most would want to get on board.
- Half of your maaser leaves you with a nice amount to donate to other causes that are important to you.
- If parents are not so strapped because of tuition, other tzedakah organizations would likely see their caseloads lighten, so the reduced available maaser would be less of an issue. Many parents would also suddenly be able to afford to give maaser.
- Schools would not have to collect tuition from parents directly which would mean less animosity between schools and parents.
- The wealthy would not suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage because the schools would still need to fundraise from them.
- Nobody will be required to share their private financial details or fill out long intrusive forms.
- The organization will be held to strict privacy rules, and will only store necessary information.
- Obviously expenses would vastly outweigh income at the beginning, but the idea is that over time, the maaser contributions from far more than parents with kids in school would offset the deficit.
- New schools would have an easier time starting because tuition is far more guaranteed.
- The financial shift would not be too drastic, which could have a lot of unforeseen consequences. It's just that tuition suddenly becomes affordable for all parents at whatever income level they are at.

There are more details that I thought through, but this is a good summary.


So I didn’t fully understand the entire plan and I am fully on board with anything to help the tuition situation and keep teachers being paid the salaries they deserve. I will tell you that creating a “board” that is across the spectrum is almost impossible. The different sects of Judaism have different views of how to accept and handle govt money. I started a thread about tuition in my neighborhood and there is one sect whose tuition is significantly under everyone else’s. I know they get a lot of gov money (some rightfully based on certain logistics criteria), but they would not be interested in joining to keep tuition low as their tuition is already low.
I hate to be so negative but just being realistic on this point.
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:28 pm
amother [ Poppy ] wrote:
This is obviously a well thought out approach and sounds to me like it could work... in theory.
Do you have any experience in school industry? Any real numbers? I don't have any inside info, but just as a parent and seeing a few different communities. I don't think this approach would work in practice. Your approach seems too easy!
I can also not see how this could work in practice for a number of reasons.
Take any existing institution. One school could own their property another just starting off, or needs to expand their building. The overheads would vary vastly. The curriculum would never be agreed upon by schools across the board. Who decides how much each teacher/ administrator earns? The specific school or the central organization? Teaching in some school could be harder - no one would do it if the pay was the same. If everyone is now giving 5% of income to the central organization, it would be almost impossible to fundraise anything to any particular school for their own fundraising. The 5% for everyone is basically saying if you earn more, you need to pay more, Irrespective of the benefits.
Bottom line, most people can't pay for tuition. The schools can divide it up, call it capital fund, dinner, registration, central organization etc but at the end of the day, its a huge expense and people can't and don't pay up.

I can imagine that if you can get people to donate 5% of their income to a school / school organization when they don't have any children in school, you would be paid big bucks as a fund raiser for any institution!

To address some of the issues you brought up:

As far as building funds, as I stated above that would need to be discussed with the board. It is possible that the central fund would NOT cover any of that, just ongoing mortgage/maintenance. This is not meant to replace fundraising. In general capital campaigns are the easiest to fundraise for, as everyone understands it's a one-time investment.

The overheads WOULD vary vastly across schools. That's fine. This isn't about allocating a set amount of dollars per student, it's about ensuring that every school has the money it needs to educate the students in their institution.

Having an auditor regularly looking at the books should ensure that there is minimal waste. But I don't think the point is that it should cost the same amount of money to educate each child. Obviously in a larger school there is more economy of scale, and it's cheaper for each individual student. In a place with a higher cost of living, salaries may need to be higher. Utilities or janitorial costs may be more expensive in different locations.

The curriculum would not need to be agreed upon by schools across the board. All that needs to be agreed upon is which subjects cannot be considered part of "basic education" for the purposes of this fund. Remember that it's in ALL the schools' best interests that the fund is successful. There should be motivation to work things out. Again, it is easiest to fundraise for your school's unique characteristics. If your school offers a class in woodworking, it's not "basic education," but also not THAT hard to find parents willing to underwrite it.

Pay also would not need to be standardized across schools. A minimum fair wage may need to be agreed upon, possibly location-dependent, and schools would then be welcome to add more from their own fundraising.

5% of your income is half of your maaser. Not all of your maaser, half. This should be doable for almost everyone. And if it means that now your children are not stuck, your grandchildren are not stuck, your neighbors are not struggling, your friends are not drowning in insane tuition obligations, that should be a strong motivator for people to give. And it's not for one specific school, but for Jewish education as a whole.

Obviously it would take time to get people on board. The seed money would need to account for this. Some people would give less. Others would give none. I still believe it is doable.

The main point is that it spreads the cost of education across not just young parents with many children, but ALL families. With our without kids in school.
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:34 pm
imorethanamother wrote:
Congratulations, you just described public school.

Only problem is to get all these spectrum parents to agree to all send their kids to the same school.

If the chassidish outpace the modern by 6:1, then their schools need more buildings, get rid of secular studies, introduce more months of school. The modern won’t approve of their money being funneled to other schools while their own doesn’t get new buildings and upgrades.

The chassidish will be upset that their money also goes to a modern school’s Literature classes and science curriculum that includes the origin of the universe.

Everyone will attempt to modify their schools entrance policies to keep out everyone to the left of them.

Schools will now be rated and ranked, with people wanting some schools over others.

Eliminating school choice seems to be your only answer. Everyone in one melting pot, everyone pays one centralized fee, everyone has equal access to all types of classes and classrooms.

In the plan I wrote above, nobody is funneling money to any other school. All this is doing is enabling minimum tuition to be subsidized as necessary, independent of the school.

And the way this is done is by spreading the costs out, not putting them all on the parents with school-aged kids.

And by separating tuition costs (the actual costs of educating the child) and "add-ons," which it should be easier for the school to fundraise for themselves.
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:36 pm
amother [ Forsythia ] wrote:
So I didn’t fully understand the entire plan and I am fully on board with anything to help the tuition situation and keep teachers being paid the salaries they deserve. I will tell you that creating a “board” that is across the spectrum is almost impossible. The different sects of Judaism have different views of how to accept and handle govt money. I started a thread about tuition in my neighborhood and there is one sect whose tuition is significantly under everyone else’s. I know they get a lot of gov money (some rightfully based on certain logistics criteria), but they would not be interested in joining to keep tuition low as their tuition is already low.
I hate to be so negative but just being realistic on this point.

I imagine at some point parental pressure would encourage them to join.

The school doesn't lose out by joining. Their tuition now becomes more or less guaranteed with no collecting required. They fundraise for the things that are important to them.
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imorethanamother




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:45 pm
amother [ Steel ] wrote:
In the plan I wrote above, nobody is funneling money to any other school. All this is doing is enabling minimum tuition to be subsidized as necessary, independent of the school.

And the way this is done is by spreading the costs out, not putting them all on the parents with school-aged kids.

And by separating tuition costs (the actual costs of educating the child) and "add-ons," which it should be easier for the school to fundraise for themselves.


What is “minimum tuition”? What does that even look like? What if minimum tuition goes up because all prices are going up? Does this not account for economic forces at all? This will always stay the same?

And where is this fundraising coming from? From the entire community, the one that is already paying a tax to the community for all the ten schools in this start up? They won’t be at all mad about giving more money after they’re taxed for it?

Who’s paying for all these accountants and financial advisors to literally look at every single household in a community’s financial statements? Is the 80 year old grandmother required to attend one of these meetings? What about resistance from literally everyone about showing strangers who are trying to take money from them exactly what all their assets are? And what about the financially illiterate person, are you going to their house to search for their W-2s and bank statements?

And is this an annual review for everyone’s taxes, and for people who just moved in? What if circumstances change, but they have $50,000 in savings? Do they pay tax on income only?

How are you handling a 60 year old who says “I paid my dues I paid all full tuition my whole life I’m going on a pesach program and that’s what my money is going to.”

What about the family with a kid with special needs who goes to public school? Do you think they’d be thrilled to pay into a system that doesn’t take their children? Wouldn’t there be anger?

I mean if we live in communist Russia all this can work fine, but in a voluntary capitalist system this doesn’t work.
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imorethanamother




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:47 pm
My idea:

Open charter schools. No religion taught at all.

Afternoon Talmud Torah.
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amother




Springgreen
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:52 pm
I’m paying way more than 5% of our combined salaries.
As are most people we know.
Our schools campaign relentlessly and our parents also give a good chunk of maser to the various schools their grandchildren attend.

I can’t see how you’re reconciling the numbers.

Or you want us to pay tuition and 5% ??
But the 5% is voluntary.

I’m not understanding where the deficit will be made up from.
Tzedaka? Is this a drive to get people to be giving their tzedaka to schools?
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amother




Cherry
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:53 pm
Flood the public schools for secular studies. Yeshivas will teach Jewish/Hebrew studies. The districts, state wtvr won't be able to handle absorbing the massive amount if kids. Legislation will pass for vouchers .
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amother




Springgreen
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:53 pm
I have two children, income $650k.
My neighbour has ten children, income $280k
We both pay 5%.
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:54 pm
imorethanamother wrote:
What is “minimum tuition”? What does that even look like? What if minimum tuition goes up because all prices are going up? Does this not account for economic forces at all? This will always stay the same?

And where is this fundraising coming from? From the entire community, the one that is already paying a tax to the community for all the ten schools in this start up? They won’t be at all mad about giving more money after they’re taxed for it?

Who’s paying for all these accountants and financial advisors to literally look at every single household in a community’s financial statements? Is the 80 year old grandmother required to attend one of these meetings? What about resistance from literally everyone about showing strangers who are trying to take money from them exactly what all their assets are? And what about the financially illiterate person, are you going to their house to search for their W-2s and bank statements?

And is this an annual review for everyone’s taxes, and for people who just moved in? What if circumstances change, but they have $50,000 in savings? Do they pay tax on income only?

How are you handling a 60 year old who says “I paid my dues I paid all full tuition my whole life I’m going on a pesach program and that’s what my money is going to.”

What about the family with a kid with special needs who goes to public school? Do you think they’d be thrilled to pay into a system that doesn’t take their children? Wouldn’t there be anger?

I mean if we live in communist Russia all this can work fine, but in a voluntary capitalist system this doesn’t work.

I think you're misunderstanding. Nobody is looking at every household in the community. Parents that request to pay less than the actual cost of tuition meet with a financial counselor and jointly decide a reasonable amount they can pay for tuition. Less work than the current tuition boards that examine all of your paperwork.

Nobody is looking at an individual's finances. Not the donors, not the parents. The 5% is voluntary and not enforced for a reason. (It also is tax-deductible.)

Maaser is something all of us should be giving. That's 10% of your income. This is asking that half of that maaser go to fund education. Not for your kids specifically, but for all children. The point is to make tuition affordable, not to punish anyone. That is why this is not mandatory, not enforced, not demanded. Just encouraged.

Things would not break even in a year, or even in 2. That's what the seed money is there for.
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:57 pm
amother [ Springgreen ] wrote:
I have two children, income $650k.
My neighbour has ten children, income $280k
We both pay 5%.

No, you both pay tuition.

But even after your kids graduate, you are encouraged to give half of your maaser to ensure that YOUR kids will be able to afford THEIR children's tuition. And that YOUR nieces and nephews can afford to go to the school of their choice. That your neighbors won't be struggling. That less families will need to get food boxes to feed their children because tuition ate up their entire salary.

Encouraged, not forced.
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 7:59 pm
amother [ Springgreen ] wrote:
I’m paying way more than 5% of our combined salaries.
As are most people we know.
Our schools campaign relentlessly and our parents also give a good chunk of maser to the various schools their grandchildren attend.

I can’t see how you’re reconciling the numbers.

You're mixing things up.

The plan is that parents pay tuition. Full stop.

That tuition is the actual cost of educating your child. No scholarship money mixed in, and extra-curriculars and building funds are fundraised for separately.

And both before and after your kids are in school, you are asked to dedicate half of your MAASER money (not post-maaser money) towards Jewish education, which will benefit your relatives, your neighbors, your friends, your grandchildren on an ongoing basis. Whatever schools they go to.
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amother




Springgreen
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 8:06 pm
Right. Thank you steel for explaining.

This still sounds like a drive to get people to donate to schools.
Rather than a whole board setup, which is complicated. Why not do a drive to get many people on board to sign up to donate their monthly maser to schools. Of their choice, or for Torah umesora to allocate.

To me, this doesn’t sound exciting.
We work so hard to pay tuition.
We pay full.
We pay building fund fees, $5k per family per year. Our parents are harassed for donations.
Such a huge portion of our family money already goes to the schools our children attend.

This doesn’t seem enough.
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imorethanamother




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 8:07 pm
amother [ Steel ] wrote:
I think you're misunderstanding. Nobody is looking at every household in the community. Parents that request to pay less than the actual cost of tuition meet with a financial counselor and jointly decide a reasonable amount they can pay for tuition. Less work than the current tuition boards that examine all of your paperwork.

Nobody is looking at an individual's finances. Not the donors, not the parents. The 5% is voluntary and not enforced for a reason. (It also is tax-deductible.)

Maaser is something all of us should be giving. That's 10% of your income. This is asking that half of that maaser go to fund education. Not for your kids specifically, but for all children. The point is to make tuition affordable, not to punish anyone. That is why this is not mandatory, not enforced, not demanded. Just encouraged.

Things would not break even in a year, or even in 2. That's what the seed money is there for.


How do you know what 5% looks like? Who’s telling you honestly what they make? What about grandparents who are retired but still wealthy?

And if you’re not enforcing it, what’s the difference between what’s happening right now with everyone fundraising?

What about a family who’s experiencing fertility problems and they’re so grateful to Bonei Olam that they want all their maaser to go to them? Do you penalize them?

Is there a consequence to not paying?

Why would I give my seed money to institutions I don’t approve of?

If you set the bar as one single price, regardless of family size, what happens when suddenly everyone has 10-12 children? Isn’t this the problem with universal healthcare? That making everyone pay means that you now have to cap resources for everyone or you go broke very quickly?
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amother




Steel
 

Post Wed, May 25 2022, 8:13 pm
amother [ Springgreen ] wrote:
Right. Thank you steel for explaining.

This still sounds like a drive to get people to donate to schools.
Rather than a whole board setup, which is complicated. Why not do a drive to get many people on board to sign up to donate their monthly maser to schools. Of their choice, or for Torah umesora to allocate.

To me, this doesn’t sound exciting.
We work so hard to pay tuition.
We pay full.
We pay building fund fees, $5k per family per year. Our parents are harassed for donations.
Such a huge portion of our family money already goes to the schools our children attend.

This doesn’t seem enough.

It does get people to donate to schooling on an ongoing basis.

The downside of having people only give to schools of their choice is that certain schools tend to get more funds, and it doesn't lower tuition. This is money given specifically to make tuition affordable. They are welcome of course to donate additionally to schools for other programs.

The idea is that your tuition would go down. You would no longer be funding scholarships for your school. You would not be required to pay for the building fund. You would not need to pay for your school's extracurricular activities.

If you chose to give to those things, it would be a voluntary contribution, and tax-deductible.

A board setup is complicated, but necessary to isolate the tuition system from the schools. By all means, Torah Umesorah could undertake to run such a board, it doesn't need to be independent of all existing organizations.
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